Results tagged ‘ Franklin Gutierrez ’

Gutierrez still out as Mariners prepare to face Royals

Franklin Gutierrez is not in center field for the fifth straight day today as the Mariners face the Royals in a 1:05 p.m. Cactus League game at Peoria Stadium, a growing issue for the Gold Glove center fielder.

GutierrezFranklinMug.jpgInitial reports this week were that Gutierrez was suffering from back stiffness, but general manager Jack Zduriencik told the News Tribune’s Larry LaRue this morning that stomach problems continue to be an issue.

Gutierrez, hitting .240 in nine games this spring, has had a tough go of things this camp. He initially was flown back to Seattle to have his lingering stomach issue checked by doctors, with the resulting explanation that a slow digestive tract was being dealt with through medication and diet and he should be fine.

Then he flew back to Florida for several days after his father-in-law, Braves minor league coach Luis Salazar, was hit in the face with a wicked line drive.

He started nine games in an 18-day span between March 1-19, but hasn’t played since. What does it mean? Gutierrez was headed to the training room this morning and said he didn’t have time to talk, so we’ll see if we can get more answers soon.

Meanwhile, the A’s announced that young right-hander Trevor Cahill (18-8, 2.97 ERA) will start on Opening Night against Felix Hernandez in Oakland on April 1.

Catcher Miguel Olivo continues his comeback as he’ll get three at-bats as a DH today in a Minor League game against the Rangers in Surprise.

Olivo said he felt good this morning after doing his first catching Wednesday in three innings of an intrasquad Minor League contest, so he’s clearly on track to be ready for the regular season if things continue as expected.

Here’s today’s lineup against the Royals, with only two players (Matt Tuiasosopo and Josh Wilson) playing again after starting Wednesday night against the Rockies.

The Mariners roster still stands at 41 players — including injured pitchers David Aardsma and Shawn Kelley — so lots of moves to come in the remaining six days before a final 25 must be finalized.

Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 3B
Milton Bradley DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Matt Tuiasosopo LF
Luis Rodriguez 2B
Michael Saunders CF
Josh Wilson SS
Adam Moore C
Doug Fister P

Gutierrez flies to Florida to be with injured father-in-law

GutierrezFranklinMug.jpgMariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez flew to Florida on Thursday with his wife, Vivian, to visit her father in the hospital after he was struck in the face by a line drive while coaching for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

 Gutierrez’s father-in-law is Luis Salazar, a former Major League infielder who suffered multiple facial fractures when a ball hit by Brian McCann caught him flush in the face while standing on the top step in the first-base dugout.

Salazar, 54, was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He is a Minor League coach for the Braves.

Gutierrez will miss the next two Mariners games, but is expected to rejoin the club Friday night. The Gold Glove outfielder missed several days of camp earlier when he flew to Seattle to have a lingering stomach issue checked out, but has been playing regularly ever since and has hit .308 in 13 at-bats.

Here’s the latest on Salazar’s situation from Mark Bowman of

Gutierrez says diet likely cause of stomach problems

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez was back in camp in Peoria on Saturday after having a series of medical tests on a lingering stomach issue in Seattle, but said he still has no answers.

GutierrezFranklinMug.jpgGutierrez said he began having problems for the first time in the middle of last season and lost weight as he ate less because of the issues. When he began feeling the same problem during Spring Training, the Mariners had him undergo more tests.

“Obviously I don’t want to go through the same thing I went through last year,” he said.”They just want to make sure eveyrthing is fine. … Last year there were days I was feeling good, other days not. I realize something’s not right. It’s more related to the food probably, but I’m still waiting for the results.”

What did the doctors learn?

“Nothing yet,” Gutierrez said. “It was a long day. We’re still waiting for the results. But now I feel good.”

Gutierrez got off to a fast start last season, but trailed off noticeably. He hit .256 with a .717 OPS in the first half, .230 with a .601 OPS in the second.

Mariners interim manager Daren Brown noted at the end of last season that he believed the center fielder’s stomach problems had affected his play, something Gutierrez acknowledged on Saturday.

“When I feel those days that it doesn’t feel right, obviously you don’t eat like you’re supposed to eat and you don’t get the same energy,” he said. “I’m not going to blame it on that, but I guess it’s a little bit part of that. You need to get energy to play your game. And you get that energy with food.”

Gutierrez hasn’t been told to change his diet yet, but has tried eliminating some foods on his own with mixed results.

What does he probably need to eliminate completely?

“Probably ice creams, I guess,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know.”

So for now, the Gold Glove outfielder will just await suggestions from the doctors and go on with Spring Training. He says he’s not worried. At least he’s not going to admit it.

“I’m fine right now because I’m just gonig to see if the tests find something. Probably not. But I’m fine right now,” he said. “I’m trying not to think about it and be optimistic. I’m fine now and that’s the most important thing.”

Everybody watches when the King is throwing

WatchingFelix.JPGYup, everybody pays attention when Felix Hernandez takes the mound, as he did for the first time this spring on Thursday with some almost-live batting practice.

Among the most attentive Thursday were the guys pictured above — Dustin Ackley, Brendan Ryan and Chone Figgins — since they were waiting their turns to get in the batter’s box.

But as good as Felix looked — and he looked as sharp as you’d possibly expect at this juncture — it was impossible to get a true read since batters were instructed to only track his pitches with their eyes and not swing away on this first outing.

You can read my full story on Felix’s thoughts about his first step back on the mound since last season, as well as his upcoming schedule by clicking here. He told me the plans call for him to throw an actual live batting practice session Saturday.

Here’s a shot I got of him throwing today.

FelixBP.JPGTomorrow brings the intrasquad game at 1 p.m. (MT). It’ll be five innings on Field 1 at the Mariners facility and Eric Wedge said he’s going to try to get all his position players at least one at-bat and an inning or two of work.

Michael Pineda and Blake Beavan are the starting pitchers, which doesn’t mean a whole lot, but will be fun to see two of the big 22-year-old hosses in camp. We’ve talked a lot about Pineda, but I wrote this story today on Beavan, one of the players obtained in the Cliff Lee deal.

Interesting kid who throws a lot harder than I’d been led to believe, with excellent command. Could turn into a nice rotation piece down the road.

The big news today was Franklin Gutierrez’s absence as he flew back to Seattle to have his stomach problems checked out. Don’t expect that to be a huge issue, more of a precaution at this point, but definitely something they want to clear up after he lost weight during last season and struggled in the second half because he wasn’t able to eat well.

We should learn more about that tomorrow when Gutierrez is expected to return. You can get the news on that on and here on my blog, or follow me on Twitter at @GregJohnsMLB.

Gutierrez returns to Seattle for stomach tests

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez missed Thursday’s workout in Peoria after flying back to Seattle on Wednesday night to have a lingering stomach issue checked out by doctors.

GutierrezFranklinMug.jpgGutierrez had problems with his stomach last year, but never missed any playing time. He went to the doctor again this offseason, but no problem was diagnosed.

But when the issue continued this spring, the Mariners elected to have him fly to Seattle as “a proactive measure,” according to manager Eric Wedge.

“We want to make sure we stay ahead of it so he doesn’t have some of the same issues he had last year,” Wedge said.

Gutierrez hadn’t missed any of the workouts this spring, but the issue had flared up “on and off,” according to Wedge.

Michael Saunders was working in center field during Thursday’s practice and Wedge said Jody Gerut, Ryan Langerhans and Gabe Gross were also candidates to fill in when needed, along with some of the young prospects in camp.

But Wedge said he’s optimistic the issue isn’t serious and indicated Gutierrez will play in Friday’s intrasquad game if he returns in time.

“We’ll see what they come up with, if anything, and go from there,” Wedge said. “There’s no reason to speculate.”

Wedge, who managed Gutierrez in Cleveland earlier in his career, said he would like to give the 28-year-old more time off this season regardless. Gutierrez played 152 games last season and 153 in ’09.


Take 2 … or 3 … or 4: My acting debut is now complete

 CommercialShoot2.jpgThat would be me, trying to look like a wannabe ballplayer in one of the Mariners TV commercial shoots on Tuesday. (Photos by Gregg Greene/Mariners).

Scratch acting off my bucket list. Not to mention my career ambitions.

Had a great time today though, playing a small role as an extra in one of the Mariners television commercial shoots in a humorous promotional spot featuring Franklin Gutierrez. Can’t give away the plot, but suffice to say they needed some extras who could look awkward while attempting to play baseball.

MyCommercialShoot.jpgAnd for some weird reason they typecast me in that role. Hmmm …

To be clear, the real work was done by five professional actors and Gutierrez, who patiently went over his lines. And over his lines. And over his lines.

It took three hours to shoot what will turn into a 30-second commercial, one of five done over the past two days by Mariners players and manager Eric Wedge.

For the most part, I sat with the other extras — Mariners front office staffers — and watched the process while waiting our moment of glory. But first we went through wardrobe productions, being fitted — or not fitted, in some cases — with baseball uniforms that were then touched up with grass stains and dirt smudges in the right places to make us look like actual ballplayers. Albeit middle-aged wannabe balllplayers, but whatever.

I’d have figured that was plenty of realism, but then for our main shot they wanted us to look tired and worn out, so we ran a few laps back and forth across the outfield at Peoria Stadium in order to work up a legitimate lather.

And here I’d always thought acting was all about pretending.

There was plenty of that, too, as at one point I had a guy spraying me with a water bottle to make it look like I was sweating and a woman sprinkling grass on my beard and shoulders to make it look like I, well, had grass on my beard and shoulders. 

By the end of the afternoon, I had a new appreciation for those who make their living in front of a camera. Being naturally funny and spontaneous is an art … and not one I pretend to possess.

But it was a kick getting a tiny taste of another world. No, I didn’t get paid. No, I didn’t have any lines. And, no, I probably won’t even be seen or recognized by anybody other than my wife and kids, this presuming all my fine work doesn’t wind up entirely on the cutting-room floor.

I did, however, get a new T-shirt out of the deal. Complete with fake grass stains …

Felix/Cy Young bobblehead kicks off 2011 promotions

A Felix Hernandez/Cy Young bobblehead, tributes to the former Sonics franchise as well as the Mariners’ 116-win season in 2001 and, yes, a Franklin Gutierrez fly swatter highlight the giveaways and promotional events upcoming this season, as announced by the club Wednesday.

Felix Cy Young Bobblehead.jpgA celebration of the 10th anniversary of the franchise’s record-setting ’01 season will take place Saturday, July 16 when the Mariners face the Rangers. Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, John Olerud, Mark McLemore, Jeff Nelson, Bret Boone, Jamie Moyer and other members of the 116-win team will be on hand for a pregame ceremony. GM Pat Gillick, who will go into the Hall of Fame the following weekend, will also be on hand.

Additionally, the first 20,000 fans will receive a T-shirt with the 10th Anniversary logo of the 116-win campaign.

Then on July 29, the Mariners will salute the Sonics’ history with former players from the NBA franchise gathering pregame before the opening game of a series against Tampa Bay.

As for the always-popular giveaways, the first 20,000 fans at the season’s second home game (Saturday, April 9 against Cleveland) will receive a Felix bobblehead with the pitcher holding his Cy Young trophy.

There will also be an Ichiro bobblehead night on Friday, May 6, when the first 25,000 fans receive a replica of the All-Star right fielder atop a mini-tote board that fans can reset each day to keep track of his hits as he pursues a record 11th straight 200-hit season.

The Mariners are also promoting their return to the Northwest Green alternate jerseys, which will be worn on Monday and Friday home games this season. In that vein, the first 20,000 fans on Friday, June 3, will receive a “Go Green” train car.

On Friday, June 17, the first 20,000 fans will take home a green Ichiro T-shirt and on Friday, Aug. 26, the first 15,000 fans ages 21 and older will receive a green Mariners fleece blanket. The club is also encouraging fans to go green by wearing that color to Monday and Friday games.

As for the Gutierrez fly swatter? That one comes as a tribute to Dave Niehaus’ nickname of “Death to Flying Things” for the Gold Glove center fielder. Thus on Thursday, May 19, the first 20,000 fans will get a Gutierrez-shaped flyswatter.

Other highlights of the season’s promotional giveaways:

— Saturday, April 23: Salute to Armed Forces Night.

— Friday, May 27: Viva Las Vargas Night in tribute to pitcher Jason Vargas, with the first 10,000 fans receiving Elvis-style shades. Also includes prize giveaways that include a trip to Vegas.

— Saturday, June 18: King Felix Knit Cap Night for first 20,000 fans.

— Friday, July 1: Turn Back the Clock/’80s Night with Mariners and Padres wearing 1983 uniforms.

— Friday, Aug. 12: First 20,000 fans receive a T-shirt designed by Ichiro.

— Saturday, Sept. 17: Fan Appreciation Night with lots of prize giveaways including Holland America Lines cruises.

The full schedule of events for the upcoming season can be seen at

Single-game tickets for these and all games go on sale Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m.